by Bill Smythe

How to characterize the Redman letter? 

Tim Redman's remarks in the Quarterly Delegates Mailing have been described by Bill Goichberg as a hit letter, and by Wick Deer as an appropriate discharge of presidential duties.
Certainly, Wick is correct when he points out that Tim cannot possibly be worried about Sam Sloan's candicacy, nor about Sloan's recall effort.  Therefore, I suppose, Tim's response should not be called a hit letter, because there is nothing to hit.
It is also entirely appropriate for Tim to respond to various issues raised by Sloan, such as the issuance of financial reports, and possible spyware in USCHESSLIVE.
I cannot say the same, however, for many of Tim Redman's other statements.  Referring to Sam Sloan as a "convicted criminal", accusing him of "slander of hard-working volunteers", and warning "don't let this ex-con con you" are examples of phrases totally inappropriate in an official mailing sent by USCF at Federation expense.  Such truth-slinging, even if included in a candidate's political mailing, would make me think twice whether such a candidate should get my vote.
Okay, so maybe it wasn't a hit letter.  It was simply a completely inappropriate, blatantly political document sent as part of a legitimate USCF mailing, on USCF's nickel.

Editor's comment:  Although Bill Smythe's views expressed here are not very different than my own, I disagree that "there is nothing to hit."  Redman should have confined himself to issues in his reply to Sloan, but instead chose to "hit" his adversary with negative comments of a personal nature that were unrelated to these issues. 

Even if Sloan was not a candidate, this would be an inappropriate political hit letter, which attempts to destroy an annoying critic rather than replying to the points he has made.  The fact that he is a candidate makes the letter a greater offense, as it establishes a dangerous precedent.  Still worse, this attack letter was sent by the USCF office, in the USCF name and at federation expense.  I agree that Sloan has no chance to be elected, but in a democratic election, every candidate is entitled to equal treatment. 

In a situation calling for serious discussion of issues, Redman has engaged in character assassination instead.  Call it "hit letter" or "attack letter" or whatever, it was astonishing to see the USCF President resorting to such tactics.  Surely the highest officer in the Federation can do better than a personal attack when a calm, factual reply regarding the points Sloan raised would have been not only more appropriate, but also more effective. homepage